Screenwriting : If I post my work... by Grant Reid

Grant Reid

If I post my work...

If I upload my scripts on here (sorry if this sounds too amateur for some users) do I still have full ownership of the script or does Stage 32 technically own the rights to it?

Andree Boe

Very good question. The copyright situation is clear. I'm absolutely sure you will keep the ownership of the rights for your stuff and presumely you can increase your chances to get good attention for it here. Maybe seeing a risk is really an amateur question. Anyway it seems to be a very important question to me. I also hestitate to upload my ideas. I'm predisposed with bad experience on a pitch with several authors in front of a group producers where some of my ideas have been robbed. :-( It wasn't funny to find later characters and conflicts developed by me in the script of someone else. But meanwhile everything is sort out well. It was an occasion to claim my rights and in the end I could trust that real professsionals prefer to work with original source. (sorry, I feel uncertain with my crappy English) - Best wishes for you!

Jodi Drinkwater

There's always a risk. Be sure to register your piece online at the Writers Guild of America, and post your registration number on the work you submit anywhere.

Renee Michelle Christian

Be careful as others can take from the concept of the script if you post publically!

Richard "RB" Botto

Truly and honestly, it's this simple: Protect your work by registering it with the WGAW or the Library of Congress (or both) and get it out there.

Saul Burgos

Richard is correct. Once you have registered your work, you are good to go

Pj McIlvaine

Technically once you create something you already "own" it, but registering with the LOC gives you additional protection should there be a court action.

Pj McIlvaine

And please, I would advise NOT putting the LOC number or WGA number. If they ask for it, great. Most don't. They assume you have properly registered it.

Cory Wess

You own copyright upon creation. Registering copyright with the US Copyright Office allows you to sue for copyright infringement. Registering after the infringement occurs is possible, but requires good proof, and does not allow you to sue for statutory damages. Registering with the WGA is not good protection, and for the additional $15 it's worth registering copyright. Now to answer the OP. You own copyright unless you sign something that sells it. However by posting it to a website you accept an agreement that allow them to distribute it (ie on a web page). Read the agreement before you upload to know exactly what the agreement is. However I would not suggest posting your full screenplay here. Post a log line and a synopsis, and say you'll be happy to send the full script to any interested parties.

Evan Marlowe

If you read through the fine print here you'll find some disconcerting talk about rights, which is why I never post anything of mine.

Wayne Taylor

Write a 2 page treatment and post it instead. Easier and quicker to read and if it excites a producer here they might ask to see the script.

Renee Michelle Christian

I recommend that you participate with this site: www.thehappywriters.com They can get you access to Executive Producers to present a Pitch! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richard "RB" Botto

Hi Renee, perhaps you haven't seen yet, but we have partnered with The Happy Writers for two Pitchfest and an Actorfest. We have another this weekend which is just about sold out. https://www.stage32.com/creativefest/pitchfest

Richard "RB" Botto

And I completely agree with PJ. Nothing screams "amateur" than placing your WGA registration number on your script. Title, name and contact information only.

Renee Michelle Christian

Yes "BB": I am aware! I sent in a written to Warner Bros Weds night and have a Skype pitch with Sundial Pictures this Saturday! I feel my storyline is relevant no matter what era we are in so hopefully someone bites because it is based on a true story it is very unique to the market. Might just need rework. But I have the whole picture in my brain!!!

Richard "RB" Botto

Just awesome, Renee! I hope you have an excellent session! Sounds like you have your pitch down pat!

Tabitha Baumander

register them for protection with the Writers Guild You need to do that anyway most producers wont read them if you don't. https://www.wgaeast.org/

Pj McIlvaine

Tabitha, I hate to disagree with you, but I have not found that to be the case. I can count on one hand the producers who asked about my WGA registration. However, when you option or sell a script, they are going to demand your LOC copyright number. Part of the selling process is that you are selling your copyright. I used to register only with the WGA East, but now I will do the LOC only. It affords you greater protection for the same amount of money. Plus, the LOC lasts a lifetime--WGA East you have to renew every 10 years I believe.

Renee Michelle Christian

Question team: Is it necessary to register with both wgaeast and wgawest?

Pj McIlvaine

No. Since I'm in NY, I used to register with WGA East but really all you need do is register with the LOC.

Janet Clarke

I'd agree with that. Go with LOC. It's a longer duration, and basically costs the same.

John Paxton Jr.

Always best to register your content and have an great representative to govern your work. Intellectual property property lawyers are great to have in your corner. In addtion to WGA (LOCATION) and LOC

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